Agents Must Get Back Basics: Both New & Old

January 20, 2009


Back To Basics: Both New and Old

Back To Basics: Both New and Old

Many real estate agents who entered the industry within the last eight years have seen a serious downturn in their business, especially if they were on the scene during the boom years between 2003 and 2005. Back in the good ole days, all an agent had to do was to put out a for sale sign and sit back and wait. It would only be a matter of time before a contract came along; all this with very little marketing or effort. Extremely lucky agents got themselves put on a new construction development; all they had to do was sit open houses and the contracts would simply pour in. Mortgages were easy to come by, and therefore so were contracts. There was no need to keep a database of the buyers coming in the door. Nor was there a need to keep a database of those who were just out looking around. It was the real estate hay day, and anyone with a pulse was out to get their real estate license. It was easy money, or so they thought!

In today’s very different economic times, the real estate game has a completely different face. The phrase “survival of the fittest” was first used to describe biology, but that phrase is coming to pass in the real estate industry. Gone are the part-time agents. Gone are the agents who got into the business to make a quick, easy buck. Gone are the agents who didn’t cultivate their sphere of influence. Take a look around and the agents you see still in the industry are those that really know this business and those can embrace change.

Just like the weather in Chicago, the real estate industry is changing every day. Ten years ago the Internet was just peeking into the field. Only six years ago many agents were having a hard time embracing “PC Access for Windows” and “Compass,” rudimentary DOS programs. I know agents who were still using these archaic programs in October 2008. The Chicago industry has since moved on to ConnectMLS, a web-based program. This program keeps evolving and changing with the demands of the times.

With that said, it is important to remember to get back to basics?while always looking forward. The meaning of Back to Basics has changed; there are new basics to go with the tried and true:

Tried and True Basics for Real Estate Agents

  • Sitting open houses (When are agents able to get face-to-face time with active buyers other than open houses?)
  • Working your sphere of influence. (This is one of the most important things you can do as an agent.  Who better to refer you than a past client?)
  • Sitting floor time
  • Signing up for web leads
  • Attending networking events
  • Monthly mailings to previous clients

New Basics for Real Estate Agents

  • Blogging on the Internet
  • Signing up for, and participating in, Internet social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Sending out monthly e-mails to previous clients

Following the basics will keep the average agent lean and fit. Again, it’s all about the survival of the fittest! Only the strong will survive this market.

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About Katie Anderson

Katie Anderson is a respected and successful broker at Sudler Sotheby's Realty as well as a certified appraiser. She specializes in representing clients who purchase and sell condominiums, town homes, single-family homes and income property in the Chicago land area. In her small amount time in the real estate game (she became an agent in 2003) she has assisted in excess of 400 deals and over $200 million in sales and continues to use her skills as a certified appraiser. Katie resides in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood with her loving husband and 4-year-old-daughter, where she spends much of her spare time with her family and friends. You can contact her at or at

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4 Responses to “Agents Must Get Back Basics: Both New & Old”

  1. Jamie Franz Says:

    Great article Katie…this is exactly what I preach to my sales staff.

  2. Glen Tomlinson Says:

    Bravo Katie!
    “Old Shcool” basics with a “New School” twist! I loved it. Not a coincidence but a sign of the times as I walked up to my Lincoln Square front door this evening to get my mail and BEHOLD, grassroots, back to basics, OLD SCHOOL real estate prospecting in my hallway! From some of my own agents none-the-less.. how proud :).
    A Family Handyman Magazine (free to C21 agents) and a Property Evaluation Certificate (with $500 in Lowe’s home improvement coupons)

    Then I sit down to read some emails and stumble upon your blogpost here at The Chicago 77. Following the “Tried and True” as well as the “New Basics” will keep agents in business….period! Thanks for your timely and appropriate insight!


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